Dharas, 24, told Al Jazeera that she, her sister Maryam, 19, and their brother Ali, 21, were on their way to Italy on Aug. 17 for a weekend getaway when a flight attendant led them out of the EasyJet flight on to the tarmac, where they were met by "gun-wielding policemen and men in suits" at London's Stansted Airport.
In her Facebook post, Dharas said that the agent began by asking them if they spoke English, and after assuring him that they were born and bred in England and spoke only English, the officer said, "A passenger on your flight has claimed that you three are members of ISIS," adding, "They saw you with Arabic or praise be to Allah on your phone."
After explaining to the agent that the Arabic phrase was part of the Qur'an and did not signify allegiance to the terrorist organization, Dharas said, "We've had nothing on our phone remotely Arabic related this morning." She also explained that since the siblings were Indian by ethnicity, they did not converse in Arabic. Dharas told Al Jazeera that the only Arabic on her phone was part of an app that featured verses of the Qur'an and that wasn't open at any time.
She said that her brother explained that the siblings had volunteered in orphanages for victims of ISIS during their pilgrimages abroad. The agent continued to probe them about their personal and professional details, including their social media accounts. Dharas said the MI5 agent made her go through her passport details, which included her Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia and a trip to Iraq.
According to Dharas, the agent told them he had done checks on them as soon as the passenger made the allegations. When she asked him why he then needed details from her, Dharas said that the agent told her, "Oh be sure that I'll be doing more research on you, and if anything comes back, I'll be here waiting on your return.'"
"This questioning lasts about an hour, and definitely includes absolute babble from me about how I work for the NHS, how I couldn't possibly be more British and hardly even affiliate with any other culture let alone TERRORIST ORGANISATION?!" Dharas wrote, adding that the officials apologized for the "inconvenience" and let the siblings back on the flight.
She said the officials told them "we are all on edge" and had to respond to such threats as the accusers were very "frightened."